Public Sector Companies Owe Telecom Ministry Rs 2.65 Lakh Crore
Public sector companies owe the department of telecommunications around Rs 2.65 lakh crore, with GAIL (India) Ltd. alone owing around 65 percent of the total amount, Minister of State for Telecom and IT Sanjay Dhotre told Parliament on Wednesday.
The department has raised a demand notice to recover the due from 10 PSU’s, he added. In response to a question raised by MP Rajiv Ranjan Singh that whether a huge amount of the DoT is due on Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilizers, GAIL, Rail Tel, Power Grid and other public sector companies, Dhotre said "Yes, sir."
According to details shared by the minister, five public sector units owe DoT over 99 percent of the total demand raised. This includes a demand of Rs 1,72,655.73 crore from GAIL India, Rs 48,489.26 crore from Oil India, Rs 22,062.65 crore from Powergrid Corporation of India Ltd., Rs 15,019.97 crore from Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilizers and Chemicals and Rs 5,481.52 crore from Delhi Metro Rail Corporation of India.
The DoT has also raised a demand of Rs 842.02 crore from National Informatics Centre Services Inc, Rs 307.26 crore from RailTel Corporation of India, Rs 90.22 crore from Software Technology Parks Of India, Rs 47.09 crore from Ernet India Ltd. and Rs 65.44 crore from Tamil Nadu Arasu Cable TV.
In a separate reply on payment of dues by telecom operators, Dhotre said the government has directed the licence holders to make the payments in accordance with the Supreme Court's order dated Oct. 24, 2019, and submit requisite documents within the stipulated time frame.
"Action in accordance with licence agreement is taken against the telecom service providers if they fail to pay the dues to the government," Dhotre said. He was replying to a question on whether the government proposes to terminate licences of TSPs in view of their failure to pay the dues to the government to the tune of Rs 93,000 crore.
The apex court had given three months to telecom companies from Oct. 24 when it pronounced judgment on statutory dues. The Supreme Court has held that non-telecom revenues have to be considered for calculating statutory dues. Telecom companies owe the government around Rs 1.47 lakh crore in adjusted gross revenue dues that include Rs 92,642 crore in unpaid licence fee, and another Rs 55,054 crore in outstanding spectrum usage charges.
After the rejection of review petitions by the apex court, telecom companies have moved fresh pleas with regard to working out a new schedule of payment of their dues. Leading telecom companies Bharti Airtel Ltd. and Vodafone Idea Ltd. had last month told the DoT that they would not pay their total annual general revenue dues of Rs 88,624 crore by Jan. 23, the deadline, and will comply with the outcome of modification petition filed before the Supreme Court.
Reliance Jio, the largest telecom company in terms of subscriber base, however, paid Rs 195 crore to the DoT to clear all adjusted gross revenue dues accounted till Jan. 31, 2020.